GeoApsis - Thomas Tradowski
Hone Program 2022
1 May 2022
In recent years, the demand for precision farming in grain-growing regions of Australia has increased rapidly. With many farmers keen to increase efficiency through machinery guidance systems, Thomas Tadrowski, a geospatial, mapping and remote sensing consultant from Western Australia started to explore the idea of "democratising" precision farming technology implementation. Thomas has created GeoApsis, a company that offers retrofitting of autosteering systems for tractors and supporting the value chain to supply satellite support to regional areas to run precision agricultural technology. Thomas has a background in precision agriculture and believes this technology should be accessible to a broader section of the farming sector. Thomas is supported by co-founder Bernard, a geographer with a background in remote sensing and spatial analysis.
Prior to Hone, Thomas’ business was predominately focused on surveying and engineering consultancy. Throughout the Hatch program, the GeoApsis team focussed on completing customer interviews to narrow in on the customer segment and painpoints. Using the Lean Canvas they identified their customers were producers who do not utilise machinery from conglomerates. They learned that these producers were actively looking for auto-steer retrofit systems to upgrade farm machinery and cultivate crops with better watch and without fatigue. Thomas gained knowledge around how to focus on the value required by users to create a viable business model.
Heading into the Hone Program, Thomas was looking to build his farming network and understand how to encourage diversification of products and services to the producer. This communication with producers was a key achievement for Thomas in the program as he learnt how to evaluate the potential market and sharpen his pitch to the different customer segments, emphasising the value of his minimum viable product to different groups. Thomas learnt the best ways to find and approach different producer groups and created a go to market strategy focusing on ag field days and capturing demonstration videos for online marketing.
Thomas understands that part of democratising precision agriculture is sharing the knowledge and education around this technology. Thomas identified that delivering workshops in person working with local precision agriculture interested persons (found) through the Facebook precision agriculture group) did have demand in the producer community. Thomas has built new networks through the precision agriculture group and is expanding the content of the workshops to create more value for attendees.
Thomas is looking to build his Western Australian producer network, starting with the southeast where he has personal work over the next few months. In 6-months’ time, Thomas plans to have completed multiple field day trials and will have established a distribution network in eastern Australia.